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The ATSB has found that the major derailment of an Interail freight train at Benalla in Victoria on 2 June 2006 occurred because the train driver did not correctly interpret and respond to a signal.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigated the accident which resulted in of the derailment of two locomotives which sustained heavy damage along with 19 wagons and two track machines which were located in an adjacent siding. A nearby Victorian Railway Institute Hall also sustained heavy structural damage as a result of the derailment.

There were no serious injuries to the train crew or other people.

The investigation concluded that the driver of the train failed to correctly interpret and then respond to a signal and that the co-driver was ineffective in preventing the derailment as he was pre-occupied and not fully alert.

In the interest of enhancing future rail safety the ATSB has made a series of recommendations which include a review of crew coordination, an examination of mentoring responsibilities, and a review of processes for the re-certification of drivers.

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Last update 01 April 2011